Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan Both Thoroughly Disliked Holding The Office of President

Serving as the President of the United States can be exhausting and thrilling and fulfilling, all at the same time.

While the job certainly has its difficult moments, most Presidents who leave office would rather stay, though the results of an election or the words in the Constitution force them to leave.

There have been a couple of US Presidents, however, who hated the office - James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce.

Both Buchanan and Pierce had something in common - neither man actively sought out their party's nomination.

In fact, Franklin Pierce said that the nomination would be "utterly repugnant to my tastes and wishes", though he ended up accepting after he was nominated.


After four tough years in office, James Buchanan had this to say when he welcomed newly elected President Abraham Lincoln to the White House:

"If you are as happy, my dear Sir, on entering this house as I am on leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in the country."

Buchanan is largely regarded as one of the worst US Presidents in history, and his "bumbling" leadership style was viewed as an accelerant for the country's march towards Civil War.


Franklin Pierce was a more tragic story.

Franklin Pierce, as mentioned, had no desire to serve as the President of the United States.

Franklin's wife, Jane, disliked politics even more, and asked Franklin to resign from political life, which he did.

A number of years later, Franklin Pierce would end up receiving his party's nomination and eventually winning the Presidency.

Before the swearing-in ceremony in 1853, a train carrying the President-elect, First Lady-elect and their son, Benny, derailed. Benny was killed.

Jane Pierce felt as though this was God's way of punishing the family for getting back into politics, and she would essentially become a recluse as a result.

The death of his son resulted in Pierce drinking heavily, and this would eventually result in his death (cirrhosis of the liver). Pierce's time in the White House was miserable - not only did he not want the job in the first place, but his life was shattered due to the death of his son and the resulting grief of his wife.


A number of US Presidents truly loved their jobs, though there were certainly some exceptions.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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